Restaurateurs Plan More Small Plates for Upper King

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Ben Russell-Schlesinger and Robert Young

The first-time restaurateurs behind the project at the corner of Morris and King yesterday revealed the concept they’ve thus far been reluctant to discuss.

“What we’re looking to do is take really great stuff and our chef’s reputation and serve it in a small-plates atmosphere,” Robert Young, a 32-year old former server (Charleston Grill, 39 Rue De Jean) said after receiving permission from his partner, Ben Russell-Schlesinger, to “let the cat out of the bag.”

“It’s shareable and social,” Young continued, adding he anticipates customers hopping from the restaurant (the name is still a secret) to other restaurants on Upper King. Continue reading

New Happy Hour Menu at Fish

fishAlthough Fish recently did away with its lunchtime deal, the downtown restaurant hasn’t yet quit offering sale prices before sundown.

The revamped Happy Hour menu, which runs every day from 4:30 p.m.-7 p.m., features a selection of small plates and discounted drinks. On Mondays and Wednesdays, the cost of cheese plates and bottles of wine under $90 is marked down 50 percent. On Fridays and Saturdays, the food special is $6 dumplings. Six bucks also buys mussels and fries on Tuesdays; a French-Asian small plate on Thursdays and noodle bowls on Sundays.

House wine, well liquor and house Champagne are priced at $4 a drink during Happy Hour.

For more information, visit fishrestaurantcharleston.com.

Sherry Gets Chance to Shine at Brooks Reitz’s New Cafe

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Sherry has lately enjoyed a very minor resurgence in big city bars – the New York Times a few months ago noted “a renewed interest” – but the craze hasn’t yet overtaken Charleston. On a recent visit to Barsa, a bartender told me the Spanish-themed restaurant didn’t have the single sherry on its by-the-glass list.

In a 2012 New York Times column, wine critic Eric Asimov conceded that sherry is “often consigned in the public imagination to the stuffy, dusty sitting room, or to the after-dinner drinks selection.” But that perception hasn’t slowed the growth of sherry bars in London, where drinkers have taken up the continental tradition of sipping sherry with Marcona almonds and Spanish ham.

Brooks Reitz, former manager of The Ordinary, thinks sherry is equally suited to a culture seeped in boiled peanuts and barbecue. He’s devising a “decent selection” of sherries for St. Alban, the European-style café he’s hoping to open at 710 King Street before year’s end. Continue reading

Fish Eliminates Lunch Service

One of the first restaurants to brave upper King Street is adjusting its schedule to reflect the changing character of the neighborhood.

With so many diners now flocking to the area, Fish is doing away with the lunch program it devised to draw customers who might be skittish about venturing north of Calhoun Street at night. According to Christie Gregovich of operator Patrick Properties Hospitality Group, lunch wasn’t part of the 13-year old restaurant’s original business plan.

“The thought was really to give folks a reason to come to this side of town,” Gregovich says of the popular $10 lunch deal. “Now with the development of the neighborhood and growth in foot traffic, we can really be truer to our business model and respond to what we see as a stronger call to offer dinner service on Sundays.” Continue reading